Friday, November 1, 2013

Slow-cooker Maple-Butter Butternut Squash

Served with corn and meatless meatballs
It is officially fall. And for me, that means winter squash: all sorts of them. I have not really worked much with the different types of winter squash in the past; I primarily stuck to what I knew, like spaghetti squash and something that vaguely resembled the squash that I enjoyed growing up in the Philippines (They say it's Pumpkin, but I don't think so). I AM excited this season to try out different varieties.

That said, one of my favorite squash dishes to prepare is a variation of “Maple-Butter Acorn Squash, Slow Cooked” from Kate Heyhoe’s Cooking Green book. I bought this book a year ago and have been trying to incorporate practices from this book in my cooking routine.  One of the techniques that she suggested was to use our crockpots or slow-cookers more, since these are more energy-efficient than using the oven or the cooktops. They “also consume less electricity than an incandescent light bulb”.

Butternut squash done
All done - ready to be served.
So, I brought the crockpot out…

This recipe also appealed to me since it sounds fairly simple. However, I am somewhat intimidated with slicing squash (of any type), so I decided to just get pre-packaged diced butternut squash. It is widely available and cheaper this time of the year.

Again, in the interest of not violating any copyright laws, I am not publishing the recipe. All I can say is that it contains maple syrup, some butter, salt, and not too much water. I really enjoy this recipe: I would combine it with some grains (barley or quinoa is my favorite) and some protein (vegetarian or not) to make it a complete meal. I love preparing this for Meatless Mondays (as seen in the first photo).

Maple Butternut squash with Kale
Or add some greens like kale
She also did suggest to experiment with flavors. I once combined it with yams and parsnip, but the maple flavor did not come through as much. I am thinking of changing up the spices, using chile, just garlic and butter, or even bacon next time.

I may even make the squash and green bean recipe that I enjoyed in my childhood…. but in a crockpot.

We’ll see.

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